Irish regulator seeks public feedback for online safety code

11 Jul 2023

Image: © fizkes/

Coimisiún na Meán is creating a new code to help in regulating video-sharing platforms and is looking for responses from stakeholders and the public.

Ireland’s new media regulator is seeking views from the public and interested parties as it develops the country’s first Online Safety Code.

The public call comes from Coimisiún na Meán (CnaM), which was set up in March of this year in place of the now-disbanded Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. A key difference of CnaM to its predecessor is the added focus on online media.

This regulator will be the enforcer of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act that was signed into law a few months ago. To ensure this act is enforced, CnaM is developing an online safety code, which will focus on video-sharing platform service providers.

The public consultation is designed to bring in tech industry stakeholders who may see their services regulated, NGOs, interest groups and ordinary people who use the internet.

Last month, online safety commissioner Niamh Hodnett spoke to about the regulator’s future plans. She also said that it’s important the interests and opinions of everyone are heard and taken into account when creating this new code.

Speaking on the public call today (11 July), Hodnett said the responses will play “an important role in helping us to identify issues and information that should be taken into account”.

“Following this, we will publish a draft code, and people will have the opportunity to comment on our specific proposals during the public consultation on the draft code,” Hodnett said.

“Of critical importance to the commission is to introduce a new code that strengthens the regulation of video-sharing platforms and significantly reduces the potential harms that online videos can cause to children and young people.”

The call for inputs on developing this online safety code can be found on the CnaM website, with the deadline for submissions being 5pm on 16 August.

“We want to collect a wide range of views to help us to develop a code that is clear, workable and legally robust, while protecting people from online harm and upholding human rights, including the right to freedom of expression,” said CnaM executive chair Jeremy Godfrey.

In preparation for the development of the Online Safety Code, the regulator said it is also consulting on an e-commerce compliance strategy. CnaM also said it will designate which video-sharing platforms fall within the scope of its online safety enforcement in the coming months.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic